EPS explains funding for Pre-AP instruction (Enid News)

By Sally Asher 

Enid Public Schools officials agreed to hire teachers to offer instruction in middle school Pre-AP courses earlier this week, and administrators have announced how they will fund the new teachers.

As budget cuts and teacher shortages ravage public school districts across the state, EPS officials opted to combine Pre-AP and regular science, language arts and social studies classes into the same classroom with the same teacher, with two levels of instruction. Pre-AP math and traditional math remain separated.

Parents began contacting school principals and administrators last week after hearing about alterations to Pre-AP class offerings in middle schools, and EPS Superintendent Darrell Floyd recognized the district did a “poor job” of advising parents and teachers of the changes to Pre-AP classes.


Monday night, the EPS board of education voted to allow the district to hire up to nine new teachers to fill positions previously eliminated through attrition to save money. 

Floyd said they hope to meet the Pre-AP needs with six teachers, rather than nine.

EPS Communications Director Amber Graham Fitzgerald said the cost of hiring the new teachers will come out of the district’s fund balance, and the final cost will depend on how many teachers apply and are hired.


Fitzgerald said the average cost to the district to hire a new teacher — including salary, benefits, taxes and other employment costs — is $47,530, so the cost to hire nine new teachers could be well over $400,000.

“We will utilize savings this year to cover the costs, and will incorporate it into the instructional budget next year,” she said. “We have been working to protect our fund balance so we can weather additional financial reductions in the future. Since we have been budgeting conservatively over the last several years, we are able to make adjustments to meet this important academic need.”


School districts, according to information on Oklahoma Policy Institute’s webpage, have fund balances that carry over from one fiscal year to the next for several reasons: to help fund payroll and other costs during the first half of the school year because there is no state aid payment received in July; to meet unanticipated expenses; and to help fund future budgets in the event of budget cuts.

Other programs will not suffer because of the decision to hire the new teachers, she said.

“However, like all Oklahoma districts, we will need to continue to watch all costs as we prepare for additional budget cuts, which are possible, if not likely,” she said. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the district had received 23 applications for the positions, and are arranging interviews, Fitzgerald said; the district is still accepting applications.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.